Permanent residency, temporary gains

Last Updated : 27 January 2010, 12:23 IST

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For scores of students every year, the decision to study abroad is an important decision as foreign education involves huge investment of time, money and effort. For some, it could involve spending the lifetime savings of their parents. While a right decision can take student’s career to great heights, a wrong move can set him behind by a huge amount of money, a few wasted years, and most importantly, a career setback.

The Global Education Digest 2009, compiled by the United Nation’s Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has thrown up a noteworthy finding that after China, India is the No. 2 country in the world to send the highest number of students pursuing higher education away from home. However, of late there have been instances of institutions shutting shop overnight and jeopardising the future of thousands of students.

In the UK, the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee estimated that there could be as many as 2,000 privately funded ‘fake’ colleges.  Most of these ‘fake’ colleges are fly-by-night operators. Britain’s Further Education Minister Kevin Brennan admitted he is concerned about the wave of fake colleges is damaging the UK’s reputation as a centre for education. “(Bogus colleges) do have the potential to have a negative impact on the country’s reputation for education which is very high,” The Telegraph quoted Brennan, as saying.

Only short-term gains
Students need to understand that overseas education and permanent residency are two very different things, and it is dangerous for students to mix them for short-term gains.  Many Indian students chose education as a pathway for migration or permanent residency, thereby putting their careers at risk. Some students pay thousands of dollars for courses like hair-dressing after believing some unscrupulous agents, who tell them that they would get permanent residency as that particular course is regarded as a high-skill subject. But permanent residency rules are subject to change and, if that happens, students lose not only the chance to get permanent residency but also the opportunity to build a viable career.

Students aspiring to go abroad should bear in mind that permanent residency will yield only temporary gains. Only those students who consider education as an investment stand to gain in the long-term, while the rest will be left behind with a weak bank balance and sour memories.

Thus it is important to be sure that the university/ college/institution one is applying has a certain standing and is recognised within the home country. 

Choose accredited schools
Selecting an accredited school ensures your future prospects of recruitment.  There are several criteria to choose an institution. For some it could be the American dream, Australian adventure or London lure.  For others, reputation of the university, study programmes, size of the institution, cost effectiveness, placement opportunities do matter.  Ask yourself  the following questions:
How old is the institution?
How successful is the institute with the local students?
Is it offering a range of courses across the board or just only handful of permanent residency related courses?
Which university or awarding body will award the degree at the end of the course?
How strong is the infrastructure of the institution?
Before enrolling in a foreign institution,  find out as much as you can about the accreditor and the institutions it accredits, as well as the recognition process of the foreign education ministry.

Published 27 January 2010, 12:23 IST

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